Oct 02, 2012
FACT CHECK: Congressman Bill Young Falsely Claims to Support Veterans’ Benefits
Although Congressman Bill Young’s (FL-13) claims to be doing “everything” possible to help our veterans and soldiers, Congressman Bill Young has voted against increasing funding for veterans’ mental health services and critical assistance for homeless veterans.
Although there are over 1.6 million veterans in Florida, Congressman Bill Young has voted to slash $75 million in assistance that could assist homeless veterans. In addition, Congressman Young has voted against support for veteran’s mental health services and blocked a program to help active service members who are victims of foreclosure.
Under this Tea Party Congress, Congressman Bill Young has an extreme voting record in Washington that has put millionaires and big corporations over hardworking Florida families, seniors and veterans.
Congressman Young Voted Against Millions in Suicide Prevention and PTSD Funding for Veterans. In 2011, Congressman Young voted against a motion “that would increase spending on veterans’ mental health services by $20 million.” The $20 million would be directed at better advertising the suicide prevention assistance and services offered to veterans. [Watertown Daily Times, 6/14/11; CQ Floor Vote, 6/14/11; HR 2055, Vote #417, 6/14/11]
Congressman Young Voted to Slash Homeless Veterans’ Assistance. Congressman Young voted for a spending bill that would have eliminated $75 million slated to house homeless Veterans. According to CNN, the cuts would have hurt some 11,000 homeless veterans who qualified for housing in 2011 but had not received vouchers. [HR 1, Vote # 147, 2/19/11; CNN, 3/1/11]
Over 130,000 Veterans Experience Homelessness Annually. Roughly 136,000 veterans experience homelessness annually. The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) estimate that nearly 76,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. [Department of Veterans Affairs, 2/10/11]
Congressman Young Voted Against Increasing Funding for Homeless Veterans. Congressman Young voted against increasing funding for veteran rental voucher assistance by $75 million and reduce HUD Management and Administration and Program Office Salaries & Expenses accounts by $86,100,000. The motion would also reduce the deficit by $11,100,000. [HR 5972, Vote #449, 6/29/12]
Young Voted to Make it Harder For Low-Income Veterans to Get Benefits. “Taking aim at environmentalists last week, House Republicans dropped a round instead on low-income veterans and Social Security recipients, making it harder for them to retain counsel when taking on the government [...] the budget amendment imposes a seven-month moratorium on all legal fees paid under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), a Reagan-era law designed to help the little guy battle Washington by making it easier for him to afford an attorney.” [Politico, 2/23/11; HR 1, Vote #85, 2/17/11]
Over 1.6 Million Veterans in Florida. As of 2010, there were 1,650,900 veterans in Florida. [Department of Veterans Affairs, 9/30/10]